Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We Were Blessed!

Good Wednesday to you. Welcome to this special mid week edition of Monday Morning With Pastor Vic. As I promised you on Monday, I’m happy to report that Tropical Storm, now Hurricane Isaac, did us no harm. It was a rain maker to be sure, but the winds were not too bad and very minimal storm surge. Actually, I have seen worse storms that were non tropical. I am thankful to the LORD that He decided to spare us.

Now, however, I’d like your prayers for those living along the Gulf Coast. They are feeling the brunt of Isaac. I never cease to be amazed by anyone who laughs and says, “It’s just a minimal category 1 hurricane.” Listen to me --- a category 1 hurricane can kick your brains in! Please, do not ever take an act of nature for granted. A category 1 hurricane can be, and has been deadly. This one is moving slowly, so that just makes it worse. Again, just ask God’s safety on these people.

This coming Sunday Morning at Friendship Harmony, I will be preaching a message called, “A Victorious Army!” If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there, but if not I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, August 26, 2012


Good Monday Morning To You!

I hope you are high and dry where you are. As I write this, we are experiencing Tropical Storm Isaac. It is 9:00 pm, and it is very windy and is raining. It should be as close to us as it will be sometime around 2:00 pm Monday. Today (Monday) is supposed to be a nasty day, but on Tuesday it should be away from us. I spent Saturday securing everything at my house, so we just wait and let it pass. As long as we don’t lose power, it will be fine. On Wednesday I’ll send you a mid-week blog just to let you know how we did. We’ve had tropical storms before, and mostly they are just a nuisance. However, we never take these things for granted because hurricanes do not play by man’s rules.

On a note of praise, I want to thank all of you who contributed so generously to our video ministry project. I am pleased to report that we have made and slightly exceeded our projected need in order to reach out all over the world by means of internet broadcast. Very soon you will be able to experience Friendship Harmony wherever you are, whenever you choose. Here’s the best part --- you’ll be able to invite me into your home or office 24/7 and not have to feed me. Isn’t that tremendous?!?! Seriously, the next step is purchasing the equipment, then learning how to operate it. Once that happens, you can hook your computer to your bedroom TV, then tune me in at bedtime. You’ll sleep like a baby! I’m better than a pill. (For our non American readers, please don’t be confused by what I just said. It’s just Pastor Vic’s American humor.)

Yesterday was a tremendous day at Friendship Harmony. Our attendance was slightly down due to the tropical storm as several evacuated. All in all though, attendance was better that I thought it would be. “Oh me of little faith.” I was able to conclude our series in the Book of Jude. These 25 verses are a theologians dream. Only the Holy Spirit could fit so much theology into such a small amount of space. In verse 24 alone you see God’s omnipotence, justification, sanctification, glorification, and eternal security. I very easily could have spent three hours on that verse alone. I had a deacon once tell me that if I ever decided to preach a three hour sermon, he would be right there with me even if everybody else decided to go home. Well, it was quite a bit shorter than that, but I believe the material was covered and justice was done to Scriptures. Below are the notes. Feel free to use them for your personal study, or in your Sunday School or Small Group Studies. Preachers are also free to use them or adapt them to your method of sermonizing.

Jude’s Doxology ©
Jude v 24,25
Encouragement From Jude Series
By Victor W. Cooper

Intro: Jude ends with a doxology; words of praise. He has warned believers to the reality of false teachers, has instructed them as to what to watch for, and concludes by praising God for His deliverance from the apostates.

I. v24 He keeps us from falling: falling from or for what?
A. Remember the content of Jude’s letter - false teachers.
1. He keeps us from falling for the doctrine of the false teachers.
2. It comes from the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
3. Without the Comforter there is only sorrow and emptiness. Lament. 1:16 For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me…
B. The word “falling” means “stumbling.”
Jude 1:24a (NLT) And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling,
C. This first part of the verse is not speaking of eternal security as some have suggested.
However, the next part does!

II. He will present us faultless unto the Father. This is justification, sanctification, and glorification all rolled up into one. Jude 1:24b (NLT) …and who will bring you into his glorious
presence innocent of sin and with great joy.
A. Faultless --- unblemished; without blame
B. It does not mean you stand before God as one who has never sinned.
C. It does mean that you stand before Him as one whose sins are covered.
1. They are covered by the blood of Christ.
2. This is called “atonement.”
Easton’s Bible Dictionary …the state of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is reconciliation. Thus it is used to denote the effect which flows from the death of Christ.
But the word is also used to denote that by which this reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for his offences…

III. He presents us with great joy. Whose joy?
A. His joy --- Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
B. Your joy.--- 1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
C. His joy IS our joy.. John 15:11/John 17:13 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. [17:13] And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
IV. V25 All praise is ascribed to God.
A. Verse 25 is a doxology of worship.
B. Verse 25 is the expression of the joy Jude spoke of in the previous verse.
C. Jude restates in different words in verses 24 and 25 what he said in verse 1.

Conclusion: No matter how vile the erroneous doctrine of the false teachers might be, and no matter how sly and cunning they might be in presenting it as true, Jude has taught us that believers can be victorious in this life and definitely will be in the life to come. Jude’s doxology ends on a “Praise the LORD note.”

I trust you will have a good and a safe week wherever you are. Right now the rain is falling pretty steady and the wind is howling through the trees singing, “Jesus is our Lord, and we are totally controlled by Him.” A-men wind, keep on singing! I’ll see you this coming Wednesday for an update; a midweek Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!


Monday, August 20, 2012

The Eyes Have It!

Good Monday Morning To You. I trust your last week was good, and that all is well with you. I am feeling fine, but about the only excitement I had last week was a visit to the eye doctor. You know you’re getting older when doctor visits are the highlights of the week. I did get a great report though. He said I definitely needed a new prescription, but that there were no signs of problems with my eyes. He wants to follow up in one year to make sure it stays that way. I received the best eye exam of my life - so extremely thorough. If you live here in Southwest Florida, or are a winter visitor, let me recommend Dr. Thomas Quigley to you. Never have I been so impressed. I did not feel rushed, and I was made to feel very comfortable with the entire process; by that I mean from the moment I entered their building until I went on my way. They made me part of the process, and made me feel like I was the reason they were there. I want to thank them for such a fine experience. If you need a good eye doctor, go see doctor Quigley or one of his associates. Be sure to tell them Pastor Vic sent you.

One thing I brought to Dr. Quigley’s attention was that when I do any close reading, I have to take off my glasses in order to see. I told him I wanted that problem corrected. He took off his glasses and looked over at the computer screen, read a moment, then said, “I suffer from that too. That’s just how it is. It can’t be fixed. It’s just that we’re getting older." Older? Me? It can't be --- I'm too young! However, I have discovered that getting older sure beats NOT getting older. Billy Graham wrote a book called, Nearing Home. It is a good, encouraging book. Get yourself a copy and read it no matter what your age.

We had a good day at Friendship Harmony yesterday. We sang some of the old camp meeting songs from days gone by. What a blessing they were. It was fun getting to hear them again. The morning message was a continuation of The Book of Jude. In the verses we examined, Jude starts to sum it all up with what I called, “The Great Contrast.” He points out the contrast between believers and non believers. He uses the key word: "remember." He points out three things: Remember we were warned; Remember what they (the false teachers) are: Remember to be different. The notes are below. I hope you find them useful in your own Bible study. Please bear in mind you are always free to contact me if you ever have any questions or comments.

The Great Contrast ©
Jude v 17-23
Encouragement From Jude Series
By Victor W. Cooper

Intro: In these verses, Jude concludes with his summation. He tells the Church to not be surprised by these people because warnings have been given, what to look for, and how to live a life in contrast to apostasy.

I. Remember you were told! V17, The word means more than a simple opposite of forget. It means, “get it fixed in your mind.” Today we would say, “Bear this in mind.”
A. The Apostles had given a warning.
1. Paul told the Ephesians,
(Acts 20:29-30) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. [30] Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
2. Peter bluntly warned, Peter 2:1) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
3. In v. 18, Jude quotes Peter. 2 Peter 3:3-4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
4. Jude himself had reminded them of the words of Enoch, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

II. Remember what they are! VV 18,19
Jude 1:18-19 (NIV) They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." [19] These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
A. Mockers/scoffers The original Greek word for “mockers” literally meant “false teachers.” They would make fun, then teach their truth.
1. A dangerous catch phrase they use: “Here is what God said, but here is what God meant.”
2. Response: God meant what He said because God does not bluff.
B. “… walk after their own desires…”
Their own unsaid motto: “It’s all about me.”
C. They cause division in the Church.
D. They are led by the flesh, not the Spirit.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Adam Clarke Commentary “…the Spirit of God is the great agent here below, to enlighten, quicken, strengthen, and guide the true disciples of Christ; and all that are born of this Spirit are led and guided by it; and none can pretend to be the children of God who are not thus guided.”

III. Remember to be different! V20-23
cf 2 Cor. 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, The theological term is “sanctified.”
A. Building yourself is personal edification
Don’t put yourself down. False humility is negative arrogance.
B. Pray in the Spirit…
Bible Knowledge Commentary Praying in the Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues, but is “praying out of hearts and souls that are indwelt, illuminated, and filled with the Holy Spirit” (George Lawrence Lawlor, Translation and Exposition of the Epistle of Jude, p. 127). It is praying in the power of the Holy Spirit
(cf. Eph. 6:18).
C. Keep in the love of God.
1. It literally means to guard by keeping your eyes fixed.
2. Peter would have continued walking on water had he kept his eyes on Jesus. We can walk on the waters in our lives if we will do the same.
D. Watch for Jesus’ return.
Paul told Titus (Titus 2:13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
E. Have compassion on some. Who? The false teachers.
1. For those that are saved, but wayward (carnal) - treat them as Jesus would with the goal of their restoration.
2. For those that are lost (apostate) - warn them of the fires of hell.
(a) Is Jude suggesting that it is alright to scare someone into Heaven? Absolutely! The thought of hell scared me; didn’t it you?

Conclusion: When seen in comparison, the life of a believer is much in contrast to that of a non- believer. On which side of the fence are you?

I hope you have a really great week. I hope you have more exciting things to do than a medical visit, but be thankful for our doctors, nurses, and medical people. Often they are the tool God uses to bring healing to our bodies. Stay safe and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good Monday Morning To You.
I trust you are all fairing well. My last week was good also. It has been hot here, in the upper 90’s, and very wet. It was raining so hard when I got to church this morning, I nearly took it as a sign from the LORD to switch messages from Jude to Noah.

Yesterday was the day of our monthly fellowship dinners. It was Italian day at Friendship Harmony. Of all the ethnic foods, Italian is my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I like Mexican, Chinese, and some French, but put Italian food in front of me, and I’m as happy as a flea at a dog show. I hope my readers in France take no offence, but I am not crazy about most French foods. I studied French and still use it from time to time, but I never acquired a taste for the food. Once in French class, we had the opportunity to see chocolate covered ants, but were told we could not taste them. That was fine with me! I’ve never looked at French vanilla ice cream with chocolate sprinkles quite the same. All I can see is those little critters crawling all over my bowl. I don’t know what the theme will be next month, but I’m rootin’ for a dessert supper. So far I keep getting vetoed, but I’ve got to keep trying. Whatever they choose, though, it will be good. Our ladies are some of the finest cooks around.

Yesterday’s service was awesome. The singing was good, and as always, a warm spirit of fellowship was enjoyed by all. I speak the truth when I tell you that if you are looking for a church where you will be welcomed and treated as if you have been there for years, Friendship Harmony is the place for you. That is why the name “Friendship Harmony” was chosen. We are all friends, and we have harmony, not dissention in our church. Even though we are all friends, our group is eager to make more, so come be with us and experience Friendship Harmony.

For those of you who are elsewhere, the dream of a Friendship Harmony video ministry is getting much closer to becoming a reality. Our video project is nearly ready to get started, and soon you will be able to experience Friendship Harmony where you are. If you have been planning to help with a love gift toward the video ministry, please send your offering soon. We want each of you to become part of this world wide outreach. Mark your check “video,” and send it to the church at 2296 Date Street, St. James City, Florida 33956.

Below are the notes from our continuing series from the Book of Jude. Once again, Jude quotes from the patriarch Enoch. Enoch is predicting the rapture and the reason for the tribulation: God’s judgment upon the ungodly. I hope the notes are of benefit to you.

A Warning From Enoch! ©
Jude v 14 - 16
Encouragement From Jude Series
By Victor W. Cooper

Intro: Jude now tells us that as far back as Enoch - before the flood, God promised to execute judgment on the ungodly. It would come through the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ!

I. Jesus is coming! V14
A. The unbelieving Jews who had rejected Jesus as Messiah, would see this as the first coming.
B. Jude, however, was not writing to the Jews, but to the Church, who was convinced that Jesus is the Christ, thereby making this the rapture.
1. Theologians agree that the holy ones that Jude wrote of is angels.
2. This would make sense since the tribulation IS God’s judgment upon the earth.
C. Picture this --- Jesus comes back in the air with ten thousands (note plural) of angels to rescue millions more; dead and living believers who will escape the judgment to come.
1 Thes. 1:10 / 1 Thes. 4:16-17
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (italics mine) [16] For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord…
D. Note “delivered” not “will deliver.” It’s already a done deal spiritually, and the physical will follow.

II. The ungodly remaining masses. V15
A. Ungodly times four. Question: Why did Jude use the same word four different times in the same sentence?
B. Answer: He didn’t. He used three different words.
Jude 1:15 (NLT) He will bring the people of the world to judgment. He will convict the ungodly of all the evil things they have done in rebellion and of all the insults that godless sinners have spoken against him.
C. Jude is here quoting the Book of Enoch 1:9.
1. Bible Knowledge Commentary Jude received the information about Enoch directly from God, or that under divine inspiration he recorded an oral tradition. None of these views affects the doctrine of inspiration adversely. If Jude quoted the apocryphal book, he was affirming only the truth of that prophecy and not endorsing the book in its entirety (cf. Paul’s quotation of the Cretan poet Epimenides, in Titus 1:12).

III. Jude describes their character so that believers can recognize the destructive ones. v16
They are:
A. grumblers.
B. discontented; blaming fate.
C. Jude 1:16 (NIV) These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

Bible Knowledge Commentary Vocally discontented, sinfully self- centered, extravagantly egotistical, and deceptively flattering—such are ` apostates, then and today.

Conclusion: Matthew Henry Commentary:
These evil men and seducers are angry at every thing that happens, and never pleased with their own state and condition. Their will and their fancy, are their only rule and law. Those who please their sinful appetites, are most prone to yield to ungovernable passions. The men of God, from the beginning of the world, have declared the doom denounced on them. Such let us avoid. We are to follow men only as they follow Christ.

I hope you have a good upcoming week. Wherever you are, please add this preacher and Friendship Harmony to your prayers. We sure appreciate them. Also, if you ever have a prayer request for yourself or someone else, please send it to us. We’d love to join with you in prayer. Remember, whoever you are, no matter where you are, what concerns you concerns us. We’d love to hear from you. Praise reports over answered prayers are sure welcome too. Bye for now, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy Anniversary Miss Bessie!

Good Monday Morning To You!! I trust your past week was a good one. Mine certainly was. On August 1, Miss Bessie and I celebrated our 25th anniversary. I cannot believe how fast the years have flown by. We’ve had our times of heartache and joy, trials and triumphs, sickness and health, yet through it all we have come through. We are like a ship that has sailed the stormy waters; we’re a bit banged up, but we’re still fully functional and ready to continue sailing through the seas of life.

I was also honored to help another Pastor and his wife celebrate their 25th anniversary. We gathered at the church of Bob and Bertha Chapman in North Ft. Myers, and I conducted a special service for them with family, friends, and members of his congregation coming together to make it a special time. Right before the service began we heard Roy Rogers sing “Happy Anniversary.” If you’ve never heard the song before, Google it, pull it up, and listen. It is a fine song that he wrote for his wife, Dale Evans. What a fine Christian couple they were. After the service we enjoyed a tasty meal in their fellowship hall. One thing about our Christian sisters --- they sure know how to cook. The Lima beans were excellent and were fixed by a Christian brother. It seems many of our men are fine cooks too.

The service at Friendship Harmony yesterday was very uplifting. We concluded our two weeks of singing Fannie Crosby hymns. Did you know that Fannie didn’t write her first song until she was 44 years old? Fannie continued writing until she died at age 95, writing three songs per week. Fannie also used over 120 different “pen names;” names other than her own. It is reported she did this because publishers wanted her hymns, but were afraid to print books with so many “Fannie Crosby” songs, thus the usage of fictitious names.

Our series of messages from the Book of Jude continued by examining verses 12, and 13. In these verses, Jude continues exposing the false teachers for the dangerous people they were. The message title was, “Useless To The Church.” Jude told us that these people were selfish, dangerous, and absolutely useless. These apostates were people that the church would be better off without. Today we try to make our churches inclusive, so that everybody can come. The Church should be a welcoming place, but must also be on her guard so that people who are there to teach false doctrine and hurt the church can be dealt with as each situation warrants. I pastored a church in Cincinnati where I was told of an incident that happened three years before my time there began. One woman had become so hurtful to the church, and so dangerous that she had to be excommunicated. In a Southern Baptist Church, excommunication is rare indeed. It meant that she could never set foot within that church ever again. Normally when a member is dismissed due to a problem of some sort, they can repent and seek the church’s forgiveness. The church is only too happy to do it. As one does this, they are welcomed back to worship again and after a trial period, their membership can be restored. This lady was totally excommunicated - she could never come back. How tragic when a church is forced by the actions of someone like this, to have to take such a drastic step. That is, however, what must happened. Jude warns us citing four examples from nature about how useless these people are.

I know what some of you are thinking. In your mind you’re saying, “Pastor Vic, the church is supposed to love everyone, after all, we’re all God’s creatures.” My response is two fold. First, a rattlesnake is also one of God’s creatures, but would you be willing to sit in a church pew next to one? Second is to properly understand the meaning of the word “love.”

Love is not a feeling, it’s an action. It is how you treat someone. It is doing right by someone. Sometime the right thing to do is to dismiss someone. To like someone is a feeling. You can not like someone, but still love them. It is you saying, “I might not like you, but I’ll do right by you.” That’s love. Doing right by the church is protecting it from false teachers. This is what Jude is suggesting. Below are the sermon notes. Please feel free to use them for your personal Bible study.

Useless To The Church ©
Jude v 12,13
Encouragement From Jude Series
By Victor W. Cooper

Intro: Jude now uses four examples from nature to show the Church that these apostate believers were useless to them.

They are:

I. selfish imposters. V12a (ESV) These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, looking after themselves…
A. Love feasts were what we call “fellowship dinners,” and were usually followed by The Lord’s Supper.
B. These times were a showing of love for one another and for Christ.
C. It was a time of purity. This is why Paul said in 1 Cor. 11:28 “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”
D. Jude calls them, “spots,” meaning dangerous rocks in the ocean. The New Living Translation says, “When these people join you in fellowship meals celebrating the love of the Lord, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are shameless in the way they care only about themselves…. “
E. They are there for both selfish and hurtful reasons.

II. clouds without water.
A. They provide no life sustaining rain.
1. Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Bible Knowledge Commentary: In addition these unbelievers had taken a shepherding role, but did not function as shepherds. Instead of feeding the flock of God, they selfishly would feed only themselves. How unthinkable for a shepherd not to feed his sheep—which was his major responsibility! Their leadership was false, for it was deceptive, hardened, and selfish.

III. twice dead trees.
A. A non-bearing fruit tree appears dead at harvest time. The apostate believers had no fruit, nor did they care to.
B. An uprooted tree is dead.

IV. rough crashing waves. V13
A. Waves roll in, then out again leaving behind nothing but foam.
1. Jude’s readers would have understood this reference very well. The Greek goddess Aphrodite was formed from the foam left behind by the waves of the sea.
2. As the Greek gods and goddesses were merely man made myths, Aphrodite would be useless.
3. Today’s readers understand the coming and going of the waves, with the resulting foam The foam is a useless product.
B. There is nothing solid about foam; there is nothing solid about an apostate teacher..
1. The old expression says, “There’s nothing to them.”

V. wondering stars. i.e. shooting stars
A. They streak across the sky in a momentary flash of light then are gone.
B. Unlike a fixed star, navigation by a shooting star is useless; it leads nowhere. Even with our modern GPS and computers, military and cruise ship captains are still taught how to navigate by the stars.
1. No wise ship captain would follow a shooting star. .
2. A ship captain knows following a shooting star will lead to disaster.
3. Jude is saying that following these wandering stars is useless and no good will come from it.

Conclusion: So, what is the point? What is Jude doing with these verses? Jude is accomplishing three tasks.
1. He is telling the Church that these people are useless and do not need to be in the fellowship. We must not be so interested in “how many we had in church today” that we accept anyone, regardless of their stand.
2. He is teaching us the warning signs of a false teacher, so that we can be on our guard.
3. He is encouraging us so that we do not turn out to be just like them.

I hope your upcoming week is a good one. If your area is suffering from the heat and needs rain, I pray the Lord sends some. Above all, make sure you protect yourself from the heat. If you have to be out in it for an extended period, be sure to carry along some water. I want each of you to stay safe and well.

Thank you for being a loyal reader. As of last Monday, there are 12,832 of you following this blog from all around the world. I’m grateful for each of you. How about writing to me and introducing yourself. It is always good hearing from. You readers outside the United States are encouraged to write as well. My e-mail address is I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.